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January 2014

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review Maxon Cinema 4D Studio Release 15 By TReVoR M. CaRlee Post Producer Los Angeles Close integration with After Effects made it time to try the new Cinema 4D. Powerful type tools and the Team Render feature are valuable to pros working in small shops. 46 I didn't want to just figure out what the light version of Cinema 4D was capable of. I wanted to attack 3D modeling/animation full force. So I dove into Cinema 4D and never looked back. I started with Cinema 4D Studio Release 15, and while I am a huge fan of Blender and what they're doing, this software is everything I could ever need and want from a 3D program. After quickly running through some tutorials on, I was easily able to navigate through the program. Then came the new features. Post • January 2014 TYPOGRAPHY Until now I had been using Video Copilot's Element 3D plug-in in After Effects to create really great looking 3D text. However, it does have its limitations, such as a lack of raytracing. I've never gone out of After Effects to create 3D text because I like having control of the style of the text constantly throughout the VITal STaTS I 've been working with visual effects for a little more than a decade and am always looking for ways to extend my pallet. I started out with After Effects 5.0 back in 2001. It was pretty bare bones but so much more capable than most other programs at the time. I star ted out using After Effects for personal use, but as the years passed, I star ted to take on more and more projects that required VFX or graphics. Eventually, there came a time where I needed to branch out into the (booming radio voice) "Third Dimension!" I was able to "fake 3D" for a while in After Effects with plug-ins like Shatter, where you can essentially make a layer not shatter and just use the extrude tool. Obviously it was very finicky and not nearly as polished as what an actual 3D modeling/animating program would provide. Anyway, I eventually started turning to 3D programs to create simple 3D elements that I would animate around. I had some friends with Maya for a while and then I discovered Blender (a free 3D animation program). Then the game changed when Adobe included Cineware and Cinema 4D Lite with their latest cloud-based subscription of After Effects. Now was the time to make the jump. animation process. Well, in Cinema 4D, there is now the ability to adjust kerning, tracking, scale (both horizontal and vertical — or both) and baseline shift for individual characters. You can do this by adjusting the numerical properties for each setting or, if you click the "Show 3D GUI" checkbox, you can get your hands dirty with the actual letters in the viewer. This is my preference. This feature alone adds so much value to this software as most of the visual effects required of me involve 3D text. I can now easily and confidently step into Cinema 4D, design my text, animate it and import it into After Effects through Cineware. It's super easy. The only downside is that you can't directly animate the individual properties, but hopefully that will be added in a future update. While I'll still use Element 3D for quick mockups and those "Make an amazing 3D animation of all of these words in the next hour" requests, Cinema 4D is where I'll be spending my time when I want it to look truly unique and perfect. RENDERING One of the truly great new features is Team Render. While I am only a one-man shop, I do have a number of computers hanging about, and to be able to pull render power from all of my available machines for one project is really great. It even works across a network of Macs and PCs. The software also comes with the ability to only install the Team Render Client on other machines so you don't need a bunch of computers up and running with a full version of Cinema 4D to do this. Additionally, I was very pleased to see the option to limit the number of render threads to be used during Team Render in case I needed to use one of my machines while rendering out a big project. Team Render uses Bonjour to discover MANUFACTURER: Maxon PRODUCT: Cinema 4D Studio Release 15 PRICE: $3,695 WEBSITE: · Team Render · Camera Crane · improved bevel and slide tools the machines around you that are available. However, if you'd prefer not to use Bonjour, you can manually enter IP addresses and ports for each machine you want to add. I personally loved the ease of using the Bonjour method as all of my machines (except the PC) just showed up instantly in the Team Render settings. For my PC, I just had to enter the IP and Port, and it was permanently a part of my group. Also, Ambient Occlusion renders faster in this new version with single frames as it now shares samples with the Irradiance Cache. Something else that's really great is the fact that there's now a cache for Ambient Occlusion so your future renders are much faster. MODEL TOOLS The new and improved bevel and slide tools really stand out. Being able to have complete control over the bevel points, edges and polygons in the 3D GUI was a very welcome addition. You can also click the "limit" checkbox to prevent overlapping geometry (something I've always struggled with) to make for some beautiful modeling. SCULTPING I haven't really gotten my hands dirty with sculpting in a 3D program yet, but I could see myself getting into it with the new additions Maxon has added to this release. You can sculpt on very low poly models if needed. I think I'm going to get more into sculpting now that it seems more rounded. It could be great for creating little imperfections in my scenes.

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